T.I. and Russell Simmons Turn Up The Vote in Philly
T.I. has signed on to co-headline the upcoming Turn Up the Vote National Hip-Hop Summit in Philadelphia on Sunday, April 20. Organized by Russell Simmons’ Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN), the event will serve to educate youth in the Philadelphia area on the issues of the 2008 presidential election. The Pennsylvania primary, which the Summit precedes by two days, will play a crucial role in what has become a heated battle between Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for their party’s nomination. The showdown will be especially noteworthy since Pennsylvania is considered a “swing-state,” meaning voters could go with either major party and margins of victory have historically been narrow. With 2008 being described as the Year of the Youth Vote, millions of voters between the ages of 18-35 are being encouraged to show up at the polls. “I am pleased to have the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia to participate in the Hip-Hop Summit,” T.I. stated in a press release announcing his appearance. “We are going to encourage young people to go out to vote. I personally know the value of having the right to vote and it taken away from you, but I will add my voice to help inspire others to take seriously this right and responsibility.” Tip, Russell and R&B singer Ciara will headline the event and a number of Hip-Hop stars and industry personalities are expected to attend. Additional panelists include Jim Jones, Flo-Rida, Webbie, Boosie, Styles P, 106th and Park hosts Terrence J. Rocsi and video director Lil X. Topics of discussion will include overcoming poverty, healthcare, education and the war in Iraq. “America is undergoing a profound change led by a cadre of young, talented and inspiring hip-hop leaders. The Philadelphia get-out-the-vote Hip-Hop Summit will be truly historic. Thousands will be gathered and their voices will be heard and felt by millions of young voters,” said HSAN’s Dr. Benjamin Chavis. The event will begin at 12:30 p.m. and free tickets are available at www.hsan.org.